Banner photo, CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
MADISON JOHNSON, representing the Lee University Bateman Team, talks about a career mentoring program being formed for high school students.
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Banner photo, CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
PODCASTERS Rob Alderman, left, and Ryan Faricelli record a podcast about podcasting during a meeting of the Cleveland Media Association.
Members of the Cleveland Media Association, a local organization for communications professionals, recently learned how they can get involved in podcasting as they watched a podcast being recorded.
Rob Alderman, senior partner at The Alderman Group and Ryan Faricelli, senior digital media specialist at Life Care Centers of America, presented “The Podcast Show.” They shared information on podcasting and tips on how one can get started in it.
“There are at least 12 podcasts we know of that are recorded right here in Cleveland,” Faricelli said.
These include “Adventures in Businessing,” “Be the Kind,” “5$Film,” “The Gargyle,” “iReckon,” “Last Life Podcast,” “The Screeners,” “On A Roll,” “Project SSA,” “The Punnery,” “Roll or Die” and “Targeted: True Crime Domestic Violence.”
A “podcast” is an audio broadcast, similar to a radio show, which is recorded and made available for the public to download. Unlike a radio show, a recorded podcast is not necessarily broadcast live.
The origin of podcasts can be traced back to “the culture of Apple products,” Alderman said. Technology company Apple popularized the podcast format with its iPod devices and its method for sharing broadcast content for them.
Millions of podcast episodes can be now found on services like iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and Spotify. While national broadcasters like NPR and ESPN have embraced podcasting, podcasting gained popularity because of the opportunities to people who wish to broadcast.
“Who produces podcasts? … I guess the answer as we produce podcasts. Individuals produce podcasts,” Alderman said.
Alderman spoke of how podcasting is an increasingly popular way for individuals, companies and organizations to share their messages with the public. For example, church pastors, comedians and those who wish to share their expertise in a given area have all found success with it.
The pair also walked their audience through the basic process of producing a podcast, including what equipment might be needed.
The podcast Alderman and Faricelli recorded during the CMA meeting is expected to be available for download in the near future at www.onarollpodcast.com/cma.
The CMA also heard from Lee University student Madison Johnson, who was representing the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Team. Each year, a team from Lee competes against teams from other institutions to see who can create the best public relations campaigns.
This year’s campaign focus is the PRSA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which works to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the fields of public relations and communications.
“We have a problem with diversity in the PR field, so the question was, ‘Why isn’t there diversity?’” Johnson said.
Johnson said the five-member Lee team’s work has included surveying local high school students to see what they know about public relations. They have also talked with college students and current PR professionals to see why they decided to work in the field.
They learned many of the high school students surveyed did not know what PR professionals do. One of the common responses was that public relations is the same as customer service.
“Out of about 300 surveys, we only had about 10 who knew what public relations was, which was just astounding to me,” Johnson said. “Then, I thought back to when I was in high school, and I probably did not know much about public relations either.”
Johnson said she and her team believe simply increasing overall awareness among high school students will automatically help there be more diversity in the field.
The Lee students are now working to connect with local leaders in the PR and communications fields. They hope to create a mentorship program where high school students can interact with professionals to learn more about their careers.
Any public relations professional who wishes to learn more about or be part of this mentoring program can contact Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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